Doug MacGinnitie speaks to the Buckhead Business Association on Feb. 2

Doug MacGinnitie speaks to the Buckhead Business Association on Feb. 2

The state of Georgia’s top tax man visited the Buckhead Business Association on Feb. 2 and took a moment to educate members about what his office does.

Georgia Commissioner of Revenue Doug MacGinnitie, a former Sandy Springs council member, said his office regulates tobacco and alcohol, motor vehicle registration and tax administration.

MacGinnitie said his goal is to make Georgia more accommodating to businesses.

“We need to make Georgia as business friendly as state as possible,” he said. “Taxes have something to do with it. It’s by no means the only part of the equation. Part is the tax policy and the other is tax administration. You can have great policy, but if you’re terrible administering it it’s bad for business.”

He talked about closing the “tax gap,” making sure the people who pay taxes aren’t subsidizing the ones who don’t.  He said he wants to make the office more convenient and friendly to taxpayers who use its services, because taxpayers don’t have an alternative.

“They can’t fire us and go to the next Department of Revenue,” he said.

He took a minute to answer questions, like why one business owner has to file monthly instead of quarterly, or what the state’s position on brewpubs.

“I love speaking at business groups like this,” he told the audience. “This is what America is all about. It’s where all the economic activity is created.”

The BBA members said they liked what MacGinnitie had to say.

“It was encouraging to hear the focus on customer service,” said Buz McOmber. “It’s bringing a personal face to what’s often an impersonal process.”

Susan Updegraff said she thought MacGinnittie did an “excellent” job of connecting with the group.

“We need government to realize we the people still have a few rights left and we need to be served,” she said.